Office Depot, Inc. (Delray Beach, FL)

Office Depot, Inc. (Delray Beach, FL)

2004 Employer of Choice Award Winner

South/Southwest Region

David Fannin
David Fannin
General Counsel

As the largest office products retailer in North America, Office Depot, Inc. has a proven record of valuing diversity company-wide.

The corporate legal department, headed by Executive Vice President and General Counsel David Fannin, is firmly committed to enhancing the hiring and advancement opportunities for minority and women attorneys and paraprofessionals. More than half of the attorneys who make up the core legal group are women, and approximately one-third are attorneys of color.

The legal department's major commitments include an open and transparent posting policy for new positions both within and outside the legal department; participating in affinity groups to create an awareness of the legal department as a great place to work for attorneys and paraprofessionals of all genders, races, and backgrounds; and devoting 10 percent or more of company spending for outside legal counsel and services with minority- and/or women-owned firms.

Office Depot strongly encourages its attorneys to participate as both mentors and mentees in the company's mentoring program, and offers flexible work schedules and work-from-home alternatives to meet family needs. Initiatives reflecting its commitment include diversity training, a mentoring program partnering employees with managers and executives, and a revamping of its job posting process to enable full and fair access to job opportunities.

At the executive level, there is an office for workforce diversity, a broadly based diversity council, and an executive-level steering committee. The company has also established an office of staffing and college relations, which includes Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in its recruiting efforts.

Linda Willet, David Fannin, Veta Richardson
(L to R): Linda Willet, Bristol Myers-Squibb; David Fannin, Office Depot, Inc.; and Veta Richardson, MCCA

Office Depot also has numerous partnerships with women in business. It supports Count-Me-In for Women's Economic Independence, a national non-profit organization that raises money from women to be loaned to women, and women-owned businesses are supported through The Business Network, an interactive database. Office Depot also sponsors the annual Success Strategies for Businesswomen Conference; gives awards to women, including the Office Depot Visionary Awards, that recognize businesswomen of extraordinary dedication and vision; and sponsors the Office Depot Businesswomen of the Year Awards.

To reflect its diverse customer base, the company is committed to increasing and strengthening its vendor diversity network. Its Tier I Supplier Diversity Program expects to increase the amount of business conducted with minority and women-owned businesses over the next three years to $300 million or more. Not only is the company dedicated to seeking out and retaining Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs)-minority, women, disabled, veteran, disabled-veteran, and small (SBA 8(a), SDB, and HUB Zone) enterprises-as vendors, but also to creating mentoring and training relationships that ensure HUBs' growth and prosperity.

With such a diversity track record, the company is frequently on the receiving end of diversity awards as well. Most recently, Chairman and CEO Bruce Nelson was honored as the Tripp Scott Diversity Champion by the Urban League of Broward County, Florida, and as Hispanic Marketer of the Year by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

From the November/December 2004 issue of Diversity & The Bar®

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